|me with none of my hypermobile joints in sight!|
"I tried a pun about rubber bands, but it was a bit of stretch"
You may or may not know that May is Joint Hypermobility Awareness Month.
Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility and in a lot of ways it was a massive relief.
For this diagnosis I saw Dr Faith Gardner who was frankly excellent. She put me at ease, talked me through it and made me feel okay about being a “wobbly person”.
For years I had weird things happen that could not be explained – such as a period of fainting a lot which was probably a mild form of Postural Tachycardia (POTS) and ongoing battles with IBS. It also goes a way to explaining some panic attacks – as if your heart is beating wildly it sends the body into fight or flight mode. In addition to that it explains my generally wobbly joints and pelvis and my tendency to bump into things (hello poor proprioception and low balance!). It also explained my childhood Osgood Schlatters disease, my twenty-something subloxating kneecap, my thin stretchy skin (and stretch marks and constant bruises) , my clicky, sticky joints, my flat right foot and my occasional bouts of extreme tiredness or fatigue (interspersed with MASSIVE amounts of energy!)
But in the context of my hypermobility these mysteries all make sense and there seems to be a way forward. Though nothing suggests diet can help with Joint Hypermbobilty, it can help with the management of POTs as shown by Deliciously Ella. Drinking lots of water helps with pretty much all my symptoms and weight training helps strengthen my muscles to allow them to do some of the work that my cartilage just cannot do, much as it would like to.
Another key to working on this has been Pilates. I have been going to classes at Leith Pilates for just over a year now and it has really helped me with my body awareness massively. For example now I feel when I am popping out into weird shapes when reaching for a tin of tomatoes on a high shelf.
I’m still prone to putting myself in weird shapes though. My lovely colleague noticed the other day that I was sat at my desk in what looked like a very uncomfortable position but felt very natural to me!
If you want to find out more about Joint Hypermobility then please check out hypermobility.org for more information on the varieties of this condition and on support available to those with it.